Breaking The Silence: On Developing A Culturally Relevant Native American Youth Sexual Violence Prevention Curriculum
There is a growing interest in developing culturally relevant prevention programs. The author serves as a Youth Sexual Violence Prevention Educator at an agency in the Southwest Region of the United States. This study was inspired by a sexual violence prevention presentation at a nearby Native American reservation; the experience raised questions about cultural and contextual relevance of a youth sexual violence prevention curriculum and pedagogy. The goal of prevention work is to stop violence from happening in the first place. Literature review has shown that generic approaches to sexual violence prevention are not effective, and that prevention work needs to pay more attention to cultural relevance. In this study the author challenges mainstream framework of understanding sexual violence and sexual violence prevention. Through interviews and literature reviews the author compiled different perspectives by Native American professionals in the Southwest region of the United States about the meaning of sexual violence prevention in relation to their cultural reality. The author concludes that the federal, state and local agencies need to step up to become allies to their partners working on Native American Nations and to give the professionals working on Native American Nations the autonomy and power to conceptualize and control programs and services based on the community’s needs.